Common dog diseases

How To Check A Dog's Fever

Misty Thomas
By Misty Thomas. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Check A Dog's Fever

Do you think that your dog could be sick? The best thing you can do is to take notice of the different symptoms, monitor their evolution and check if your dog has a fever. Once you are sure that your dog has a fever, or if they appear to be in discomfort or pain, it is important to take them to the vet.

If you don't know how to check a dog's fever, stay with us at oneHOWTO and we'll show you the different methods.

You may also be interested in: Symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Dogs
  1. Using the rectal thermometer
  2. Safety first
  3. Using an ear thermometer
  4. Call the vet

Using the rectal thermometer

Aside from other symptoms your dog might display if it has a fever, temperature is the most reliable indication of whether your dog has a fever or not. The much dreaded rectal thermometer is one of the ways that you can tell if your dog has a fever or not. This can be a very unpleasant experience for you and your dog, so please make sure that you follow all these steps properly.

The most important part of this process is to make sure that the thermometer has been lubricated properly. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with a water-based lubricant or petroleum jelly. Many people will use Vaseline. This helps to make this experience not as dreadful as you might think. If you are using a digital thermometer, make sure that you turn it on then insert it. If you have a mercury thermometer, make sure that you shake it down to the end closest to the mercury before inserting it.

How To Check A Dog's Fever - Using the rectal thermometer

Safety first

You are going to need some help when you take your dog's temperature. This is technically a two person job, and it will help you to keep your dog calm and as relaxed as possible. Get your friend to hug your dog and keep them steady and stable. The hug just need to a bit tighter than usual, but not to the point where they are strangling them.

Your dog may try to sit on the thermometer too, this is normal. Just make sure that you and your friend keep them from doing so. Be careful about how far you put the thermometer in. It should only go about an inch inside of the rectum. Leave it in for about two minutes and remove it very slow and gently.

How To Check A Dog's Fever - Safety first

Using an ear thermometer

You can also use an ear thermometer to take your dog's temperature. You will again need a friend to help you hug your dog so they can be completely relaxed. Simply lift up their ear and make sure you can see the canal clearly. Slowly and gently put the thermometer into their ear and hold it there for about two minutes.

How To Check A Dog's Fever - Using an ear thermometer

Call the vet

If you have taken your dog's temperature and it is between 100 and 102.5, your dog does not have a fever. If it is over 102.5, call the vet. There are some basic things you can do to help your dog and make it more comfortable, but this is when you should be concerned about getting it to a vet as soon as possible. Make sure that you follow all of these steps so that your dog is as calm as they can be when you do this.

How To Check A Dog's Fever - Call the vet

If you want to read similar articles to How To Check A Dog's Fever, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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1 comment
sheila dinardo
how do you reduce a temp when dog is already on antibiotics
OneHowTo Editor
Cool your dog down with damp compresses under its legs. Make sure you pat the areas dry. Make sure it drinks plenty of fluid and take your dog back to the vets if the temperature hasn't lowered in 24h.

Hope this helps
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How To Check A Dog's Fever